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Change management: Five steps to managing change resistance

By Victoria Harrer, Organizational Change Management Practice Lead, Arbela Technologies

Don’t let change resistance derail your next project! Even if the project provides a critical improvement to a problem that has been plaguing your organization for years, there can still be resistance to the change. Comfort with the status quo is extraordinarily powerful. Fear of moving into an unknown future state creates anxiety and stress, even if the current state is painful.

When preparing for a change initiative, spend time before the project launches to look at likely sources of resistance. Most often, you will know the area or group that will provide the greatest resistance to the change. Use this knowledge to be proactive about where resistance is likely to come from and the objections that drive this resistance. Then, act ahead of time before the resistance impacts the project.

Try using these five steps to help manage change resistance on your next project:

  1. Listen and Understand Objections - A critical step any organization can take when managing change resistance is to listen. Quite often employees simply want to be heard and to voice their objections. Understanding these objections can provide a clear path toward resolution. Listening can also help identify misunderstandings about the change.
  2. Focus on What Needs to Change - For most change initiatives, it is effective to let go of how things were and focus on what needs to change. This process transfers ownership of the solution to the employee. Employee that feel part of the process will naturally begin to take ownership and support the change.
  3. Remove Barriers - Fully understand the individual situation with an employee. What may appear to be resistance or objections to the change may be a barrier that the employee cannot see past. Personal Barriers can relate to family, personal issues, physical limitations or money. Determine ways that the business may be able to address and remove these barriers early in the project.
  4. Create Excitement and Opportunity - Most employees will respond to the opportunity for a better future. Demonstrate the benefits of change in real and tangible ways, through the success of pilot programs and testing trials. Build excitement through strong leadership, employees will follow a leader who can create hope and whom they respect and trust.
  5. Provide Incentives and Rewards - By providing recognition of achievements and project milestones with increased compensation or a bonus program, employees will feel appreciated for their hard work on the project. Celebrate the successful completion of the project to reinforce the positive benefits of the change initiative.

Learn more about Arbela's change management services and how it can help achieve your business objectives for implementing Dynamics 365.